Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Is hydropower the best energy source of them all?

Hydroelectric power plants have been with us for many years, and hydropower is today one of the energy sources with the longest history of use. Hydropower isn't the perfect energy source, nothing is perfect in terms of energy sources, but can hydropower still be named as the best energy source of them all? Well, there are certainly some very good reasons to share this opinion.

When judging each energy source we must look at it from several different perspectives:economic, environmental and social. In most cases, the dominant factor is economic but if we want to get the entire picture we need to include the other two factors before making the right conclusion.

The 2103 study by the British scientists from the School of Engineering at the University of Lincoln decided that hydropower should get the prime position among all other energy sources. Their conclusion was that hydroelectric power plants should be favored as top energy source when including the factors such as risk of severe accidents, security of fuel supply, volatility of fuel price, environmental aspects and public acceptance.

Since hydropower has very long history it is well accepted by majority of people, it produces negligible amount of pollution, and from the economic point of view isn't affected by fuel concerns.

The researchers came to conclusion that the only real downside of hydropower is the shortage of new locations for the construction of large hydroelectric plants in many countries of the world. Using smaller hydroelectric power plants usually isn't enough to cover the electricity needs and thus there is the need for larger hydroelectric power plants.

This means that hydropower cannot solely provide electricity for the entire world but when available on large scale it should be seriously considered as the prime option. The long tradition of use, security of the fuel supply as well as minimal environmental damage are certainly the reasons to rate hydropower very highly, perhaps even as the best energy source of them all.